Sean tarry on his vodacom durban july runners
has a Vodacom Durban July favourite for the first time this year in the exciting three-year-old colt Legal Eagle. However, the pressure is eased by the fact that he has not only won the July twice but has no fewer than five runners in the big race this year.
He said, "Legal Eagle's prep has gone very well. I would have been happy if he had run a place in the Jubilee. Without being very handy he surprised me, not that he won but by the way that he won. I haven't had to be overly hard on him. He had a lovely gallop last week Wednesday, he's come through it well and won't do much before he leaves on Thursday. Let's just hope that he travels well."
"French Navy's preparation has gone smoothly, he's handled the travel no problem, and everything at this stage is good. He's a tough horse, he's a big, burly horse, he copes with everything, takes it in his stride, he has a great temperament." Tarry was not concerned about his weight and said, "54,5kg for a horse that's won two classics is fair."
"Halve The Deficit's form is quite solid. If the two opposition horses to beat are Wylie Hall and Majmu (and obviously also respect for Futura) then, based on his meeting with them in the President's Champions Challenge, at the weight turnabouts he should finish on top of them. He probably had a better prep for the July this year than he did last year and I think he's in a better place. I think my two three-year-old males are better horses, but that's not to say that he is without a chance. Piere (Strydom) will know what to do from that draw and he knows the horse well, he's versatile, he can come from off them or he can go handy."
"Gold Onyx's last run was disappointing, obviously he over raced and was too handy carrying 60kg. He emptied out quicker than I would have hoped, but he rode him completely differently to how he is normally ridden. Obviously from the draw (18) he will just be dropped to the back and hope that he runs on. He quickens up well and comes from off them in most of these big races where they never go hard. They crawled in Cape Town and he still finished off well."
Tamaanee was found to have a lifted shoe after her disappointing run in the Woolavington and it was bent into her foot so there were genuine excuses. Tarry also felt being strange to the course had affected her.
He said, "Her last run has taken the sine off her completely. I thought her previous win in the Gerald Rosenberg was exceptional, she won in a very good time on the same day as Wylie Hall and Majmu over the same distance. The form is very good, there have been four winners from that race, and I wouldn't discount her. She would have learnt a lot from her two visits to Greyville. She has a nice light weight and if she can race up handy I think there are a few positives that people seem to be overlooking.
Tarry added that how the race unravelled was out of his hands. However, his prediction was that the pace would not be a slow one.
Carry On Alice will also be travelling down from Johannesburg for the Gr1 Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes and Tarry said, "I'm not that confident of her over a mile, but if she got the mile as a two-year-old here, then if she's going to get a mile anywhere it's going to be at Greyville.
She had a wide draw in last year's Thekwini and now she's well drawn. Also her other two attempts at a mile weren't bad. In the Majorca she ran a week after the Cape Flying, so that wasn't ideal, and in Jo'burg it was her second run after a rest in the soft so that wasn't ideal either. I can't be as bullish over a mile, but I think she has plenty in her favour and is a massive runner."
He continued, "Master Archer (race 1) has a bad draw, but good form. His last run can be ignored as he found trouble and was drawn 16. I think it's an open race but he has a chance."
"Kolkata (race 4) will bounce back. The change of season affects him, he's had a few respiratory issues but I think we're on top of them. He's dropped nicely in the ratings, I think he will be there."
"Escape Route (race 6), first time out he ran a place behind Redcarpet Captain coming from last. I think he is a horse who gets lost in his races and this Greyville 1400m may be a bit sharp for him, but we're hoping that it's a pointer for us for the Gr1 mile on Gold Cup day. So, although we're hoping he goes close here, we're thinking more of it as a prep."
"The Hangman (race 8) is in a good space, moving well, loves the course and distance. He's in Jo'burg, he seems to enjoy the travelling, he could have an each way chance."
"Rikitikitana (race 12), it's a R1 million race and we managed to get him in at the last minute. It's a tough race, he will be running on and we will be hoping for the best."
Excerpt from Gold Circle by David Thiselton
Sean Tarry, Legal Eagle, Halve The Deficit, French Navy, and Gold Onyx / Gold Circle (p)